How Much Does Personal Training Cost?

How Much Does Personal Training Cost?

Personal Training Cost

So you’re considering personal training… but wondering “holy moly, what is this going to cost me???” Maybe you have shopped around a bit and are even MORE confused because you’ve heard everything from $99/month to $1999/month!

Let’s thicken the plot by adding that some programs have lengthy contracts, some are online only, some you need to have a gym membership… and what if after all of that, you don’t even like your trainer??! (As in all professions, they are not all created equal).

“Standard” pricing for training can vary anywhere from $25 for a half hour, up to about $180 for a full hour. Whoa… that’s a big swing! That’s why we are here to hopefully help by breaking down:

  • The 3 top variables that play into the cost of hiring a personal trainer
  • 5 things you should ask (and get answered!) before hiring a trainer

Variable #1: Time

Arguably the greatest factor in the cost of training is TIME! Personal trainers are trading time (and presumably, skill) for money, so it goes without saying that the length and frequency of sessions will play into the cost (i.e. 30 minute sessions 3x/week; 60 minute sessions 4x/week, and so on).

One thing, however, that consumers should be aware of is that if you hire a GOOD personal trainer, you are getting a lot more time than just the time that you spend with them one-on-one.

A good trainer will check in between sessions, encourage you even when you are not together, assign homework, send follow up information to answer any questions that may have arisen during sessions, and so on.

The time that they invest OUTSIDE of your regular sessions will play into the overall cost. Good trainers also keep progress notes and program with intention, meaning they are doing prep work before your session, and follow up work afterwards. Not to say that these factors are requirements of working with a trainer, they are simply examples of things you may not be getting if you choose a reduced-price trainer.

Variable #2: Credentials

Personal training is an unregulated industry, meaning that any Joe Schmo (no offense to the Joe’s out there…) can call themselves a Personal Trainer and set up shop. There are national certifications available that allow trainers to call themselves “Certified”, but no licensing or regulatory concerns beyond that. Luckily there are several national certifying agencies that are working to change this, but in the meantime, it is up to the consumer to inquire as to the skill level, background, and experience of any trainer they are considering hiring.

While this is not always the case, a trainer who is not certified or otherwise credentialed, also might not be completing continuing education and keeping up on current research and training principles. It’s also likely that they are operating uninsured (it’s hard to get insurance when you do not carry any credentials).

A trainer, on the other hand, who is certified (and maybe even has multiple certifications or degrees), and who participates in regular continuing education and maintains proper insurance coverage, is also a trainer who has more cost associated with their position, and therefore will need to charge more in order to recoup those costs and still make a living.

Variable #3: Location

Trainers who work out of a big box gym, especially a luxury gym, are likely going to cost more (this is not ALWAYS the case, but often is). Big box gyms sometimes have a commission structure which takes a larger cut from their trainers, and so for everyone to get their piece of the pie, the client needs to pay more. Furthermore, the client is presumably paying a membership fee on top of their training fee which will play into the overall cost.

Personal training pricing at Success varies as well, but after a brief conversation to learn about a potential client’s goals and needs, we can let them know which program and price range we would recommend. We are never pushy so it really is just a conversation.

BUT… going into that conversation (or a conversation with any trainer)… here are…

5 Things (+1) you Should Ask (and get ANSWERED!) before Hiring a Personal Trainer:

  1. What are your qualifications?
    1. Are you certified?
    2. Do you have other credentials?
    3. What certifications do you carry?
    4. What advanced/specialty training do you have?
    5. What are you currently studying?
    6. Are you insured?
  2. How much does it cost?
    a. And how frequently?
    b. And how/when am I billed?
    c. What payment methods do you take?
  3. Am I tied to any sort of a contract?
    a. If so, for how long?
    b. What if I don’t like my trainer after the first few sessions?
    c. Other terms of contract?
  4. What is included?
    a. Email/text check ins?
    b. Homework?
    c. Other…?
  5. What can I expect from my sessions and my overall program?

A Bonus Question that is always good to ask is:

“If we aren’t a good fit or I choose not to work with you, who would be your next recommendation?”

All good trainers realize that they cannot be a jack of all trades, and that they cannot help everyone by themselves.  It is a critical part of the job to have a trusted network of other trainers who you can refer to.

All qualified, well-intentioned trainers will be able to provide direct, honest answers to all of these questions. If they can’t or won’t, you may want to look elsewhere.